Summary: The healing of the blind beggar provides the backdrop for interesting discussions on vital spiritual principles with present day applications.
Charles W. Holt
Introduction: In John 9, we find people expressing serious errors in judgment that affect themselves and others. There is an interesting interaction between Jesus, the 12 disciples, the blind man, his parents, their neighbors, and the Pharisees. The fears, misconceptions and misunderstandings expressed by all except Jesus are common ones even in our day, as we intend to show.
I. WHO DID SIN, THIS MAN OR HIS PARENTS THAT HE WAS BORN BLIND? (vss. 1-4)
Belief in life before this life is nothing new. This was taught by some in the time of Jesus and it is from this belief that the disciples present their question to Jesus. The notion that there is life before one is born was a fallacy then as it is today. Did this man sin before his birth that caused his blindness? Did his parents sin before his birth that resulted in his blindness? These are very serious questions. Why do bad things happen to good people, for example. I guess it is merely human nature to want to pinpoint the cause of our problems. It is the basis for a common fallacy and misunderstanding. It is the assertion that calamity or misfortune is due to a person¡¦s sins. Either the individual suffering the calamity has sinned or someone very near to them such as a close relative has sinned. Thus, it is said, the problem exists because someone has sinned against God.
The wages of sin IS death! Sin still has its retribution. We DO reap what we sow. We must not ignore that fact. However, there are literally thousand of God¡¦s precious and beloved children who are suffering under an unbearable weight of guilt and condemnation because of a notion that they have somehow sinned and therefore God is punishing them. But when asked, they do not know what their sin is!
"God is punishing me!"
"God is punishing you for doing what?"
"I don’t know what I did!"
Whoa! What is wrong with that conversation? Is God guilty of playing some kind of cosmic game of Twenty Questions? Absolutely not! Does He punish for cause or for caprice? We know the answer to that. If He punishes for cause He will reveal the cause if we will ask. When we ask "Why?" He answers, "Because¡K" To identify sin, confess sin, repent of sin is to receive God¡¦s forgiveness and cleansing, pardon and freedom from condemnation. God forgives. Why then do so many dwell under a cloud of guilt, condemnation and even anxiety which hinders their prayer life and witness for Christ? Could the answer lie in, "you have not because you ask not?"
These verses show that God has a plan that is far beyond our ability to comprehend¡that we do not always have neat explanations that can solve life’s great puzzles. What do we do? We rest upon God’s infinite wisdom and love.
II. JESUS SPAT ON THE GROUND, MADE CLAY, ANOINTED THE BLIND MAN’S EYES. HE WASHED AND CAME BACK SEEING (vss. 6,7).
A second fallacy and misunderstanding is to think that God always works according to certain clearly defined laws of logic and decorum. It is a mistake to think that He cannot deviate from conventional, acceptable methods that are easily understood by the majority.
Scripture, and life’s experience, show God is not limited by anything. These verses are a case in point.
ƒÞ Peter’s shadow passing over people in the street and their being healed is another.
ƒÞ Cloths and handkerchiefs from Paul that brings healing to the sick and drives out demons is another.
Jesus used several "unconventional" methods to bring healing.
1. He touched a leper
2. He spoke a word while miles away from a sick person
3. He made a mudpack by spitting upon the clay soil. Placing it upon a man’s eyes he told him to go and wash it off.
4. He forgave a man’s sins to bring healing.
5. He took a dead girl by the hand and raised her from the dead
6. He stood in front of the tomb of Lazarus and called loudly for the dead to come out.
7. He put his fingers in a deaf man’s ears, spit,touched his tongue.
8. He spit on a blind man’s eyes after leading him out of town.
9. Jesus stood over Peter’s mother-in-law and rebuked the raging fever. Etc., Etc.
III. HOW WERE THINE EYES OPENED? A MAN CALLED JESUS SAID GO¡ WHERE IS HE? I DON’T KNOW (vss. 10-12).
Another fallacy is believing that only saved people, religious people, spiritual people, get things from God.
ƒÞ The blind man never saw Jesus until much later. He didn’t know who he was until much later.
ƒÞ The theological/religious question didn’t come until AFTER the healing. (see verses 35-38).